Good Morning, Darlings!
Tapas continue to hold our collective attention and of course there will always be places that do it halfheartedly and others that excel. Unfortunately, most tapas restaurants serve the same tired old dishes.
But not The Iberian Pig. They are producing small plates that thrill. Best friend Clint picked the perfect spot for Holly and I to meet up with he and his mother, my Memphis pen-pal, the genteel Miss Sylvia. Situated in the middle of Decatur Square, you can support the environment and jump on the MARTA and end up right in the middle of the square – how’s that for green?
And what about The Iberian Pig, what does that mean? From their website:
The Black-footed Iberian Pigs that roam Spain create some of the most sought after cured meat in the world, Jamon Iberico. Only recently imported into the United States, we are one of the select few restaurants in the country that serves the acorn fed Iberico ham from Spain. To preserve the integrity of Jamon Iberico, we slice the ham in view of our guests on a imported mechanical proscuitto slicer from Italy. Served with toasted ciabatta and espresso aioli, this item is truly a signature of the restaurant.
Integrity, indeed. Every last bite was sublime. But first, there were some hugs to be exchanged!
Hugs exchanged, we turn our attention to the house rules. Why can’t every restaurant have these posted? I love it!
We met our server, Greg, who took fantastic, attentive care of us all evening. And he was funny – that’s important to me.
And the food, glorious food! Eric couldn’t make dinner, so I will be returning with him very soon to sample all the dishes. We each chose a dish and reasoned we could always order more. First up, Clint’s suggestion of BWD- Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and walnuts, Romesco dipping sauce. They were gobbled up in a millisecond. Next!
Second plate – Croquetas de Queso – Crispy goat cheese, citrus-honey yogurt, lavender honey. This was my personal favorite, so much so that we ordered two. Miss Sylvia’s excellent choice. The honey with the yogurt was so good we asked Greg to please leave it well after the croquetas were gone. Insanely tasty.
Moving right along, we come to my dish – BBQ Octopus – Slow simmered all day then char grilled, house made BBQ sauce, fennel, shallots, pork belly, and crunchy potatoes. I’m surprised we weren’t elbowing each other to devour every bite. But there are rules, you know.
And then it was Holly’s turn. Calamares – Baked stuffed calamari with grilled vegetables, Mahón cheese, tomato sauce. One of the best versions of Calamari I have ever eaten. Once you’ve tried this, you will be hard pressed to go back to the boring, breaded, fried rings.
Bless my friends, they put up with my constant photo snapping. It also caught the attention of owner and chef, Chad, who dropped by to say hello.
After asking Chef Chad for his personal recommendation, we ordered the Tocino con Manzana – Slow braised Kurobuta pork belly, Granny Smith and Fiji apple salad with Laird’s Applejack, citrus-honey yogurt, candied walnuts, apple cider reduction, and Chilean extra virgin olive oil. A collective happy groan swept our table.
Were we still hungry or just drunk with love for the menu? One more plate. Huevos con Trufa – Rustic bread, slow roasted pork cheeks, poached egg, black truffles. I love any dish that comes with a poached egg. This did not disappoint.
Now you would expect us to be too full for dessert – but with four spoons, how could we resist the Copa Catalan – Espresso custard served with fresh berries Bomba – Mango, raspberry, and passion fruit sorbet rolled in white chocolate, served with fresh whipped cream and seasonal berries? A few bites couldn’t hurt. The most perfect way to end the meal, even if we were filled to the brim.
Thank you Holly, Clint and Miss Sylvia for the amazing dinner and as always, your perfect friendship! Never a dull moment when we get together.
Today blogging to Cameo’s Word Up